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Aborting America Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 1981
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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I wouldn't recommend it for getting the latest in prolife argumentation, but for what he devotes most of the book to - his firsthand account in the abortion movement. The first portion of the book is a historical and autobiographical. He begins with a brief family history, especially of his father, of his time in medical school, and moves on to his medical career and his activities in the abortion movement and how he parted ways with them (as an atheist). The writing is very good, and the topics should be of interest to prolifers and pro-choicers alike.
The book won't come across as confrontational to pro-choicers (nor will top notch prolife literature more generally), and so I recommend it to them as well. I'll also throw this in: concerning terminology (prolife vs. pro-choice) he prefers antiabortion & proabortion. Some, maybe many, pro-choicers will take offense to this - 'We aren't for abortion as a good, but as a neccesary evil,' or something like that. However, he clearly doesn't mean to imply anything to poison discussion. (Remember this was in the 70's and labels change with time.) In fact, at least when he wrote this, he rejects "pro-life" since it implies that pro-choicers are "anti-life" and "pro-choice" because choice isn't always good, and isn't like we want to call ourselves "anti-choice." I've noticed pro-abortionist being used by pro-choicers, and there is a trend it seems to prefer that name, so how many this might offend I don't know; just keep in mind what I've said and it shouldn't bother you.
This books names names and give dates, and gives an insight into the strategy sessions. It also paints a clear picture of the cynical and deliberate (and largely successful) effort to make use of latent anti-Catholic bigotry in the US to convince people that laws against abortion were a consequence of the influence of the Catholic Church, despite the fact that the laws in question were recommended by Protestant physicians in the 19th century at a time when the number of Catholics in the US was too small for there to be anything remotely like a "Catholic vote." This attempt to prevent people from actually thinking about the matter was largely successful, especially in the backlash that followed (and continues following) the radical Roe vs. Wade and Doe vs. Bolton decisions.
The book also tells of the author's personal journey, as he wound up running the largest abortion facility in the country after New York legalized abortion (pre Roe vs. Wade), thereafter became somewhat suspicious of the intentions of those spearheading the movement, and eventually decided that abortion was not moral.
The book ends before his complete conversion on the matter some years later, and well before his religious conversion, as he event went from being an unbeliever (a secularized Jew by culture at the time he wrote the book) to eventually embracing Christianity.
So, whether you understand that induced abortion is simply murder, or whether you believe that abortion is a right as a natural consequence of the right of bodily integrity, you will find this book a useful and informative book to have because of its historical information -- if you can find a copy to buy.
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